There are three reasons why Managed Service Providers (MSPs) need a CISO, or someone to perform a CISO function. If a Chief Information Security Officer is outside your current budget, a Virtual CISO is a top-tier alternative, offering the same C-Suite-level experience via more affordable CISO as a service pricing.
Why Do You Need a Virtual CISO?
1. Your clients hired you to provide security. Managed Service Providers have become the go-to solution for small-business owners because they lack the time, knowledge or experience to implement robust cyber security on their websites. As part of their hosting package, they expect you, the MSP, to protect them against every emerging cyber threat.
Depending on who your clients are, that could be more of a challenge than you realize. Any client that collects personal information, particularly credit card numbers, is vulnerable to professional hackers trolling for the next trove of cards and personal data. If your clients are nonprofits, small government agencies or service providers in the utility and healthcare sectors, state-sponsored hackers will eventually come around looking for opportunities to harvest passwords or plant malware.
2. Your clients will have bad cyber security habits. You can count on your clients to violate every possible cyber security rule. They will share passwords. They will use insecure passwords. They will unleash malware and phishing attacks by clicking on links. The best, most secure organizations with ongoing cyber security training make these mistakes. Less-sophisticated organizations are favorite hacker targets.
In the worst-case scenario, a cyber security breach for one client could compromise an entire server or all of your networks. Hackers will probe for vulnerabilities at MSPs that allow them to steal data from multiple clients, or hold multiple organizations hostage with ransomware.
3. Your clients will blame you for any problems. Remember, your clients hired you to provide security. Even if they did not communicate that explicitly, even if they waived the additional cyber security protections you offer, they expect that you will fix their mistakes and take the blame if they have breaches or disruptions.
You can expect twice the blame if some other client takes a shared server out of commission. Yes, they expect you to be everyone’s CISO even while everyone is ignoring the rules of cyber security.
Starting Up? Outsource a CISO!
A virtual CISO can provide two essential services for MSPs. First, your virtual CISO will ensure that your hosting environment, email services, gateways, cPanels, databases, firewalls VPNs and login protocols are all up to date. If you provide shared hosting on a single server, a shared CISO will take steps to prevent mistakes by one client from impacting another.
Second, your fractional CISO can be sold as a value-added service to clients, which builds a deeper relationship and improves client retention. This has the added benefit of making your entire enterprise more secure by potentially limiting bad cyber security practices through client education.
A virtual CISO from Protect Now offers executive-level cyber security expertise without the executive salary. We specialize in cyber security solutions for public-facing organizations and enterprises that use legacy systems. Contact us to speak to a cyber security expert.
Written by Robert Siciliano, CEO of Credit Parent, Head of Training & Security Awareness Expert at Protect Now, #1 Best Selling Amazon author, Media Personality & Architect of CSI Protection Certification.